In the recent years, market has become crowded with brands, customers’ attention span has gone down, there has been explosion in marketing channels and the number of touchpoints in path-to-purchase has increased. In such a noisy environment, it has become extremely important for brands to establish human connect with their stakeholders such as customers, employees and partners.
To establish connect, it has become important for brands to communicate meaningful messages in timely manner. These messages help in defining brands’ positioning, differentiation, competitive advantage, values and eventually assist people to decide why they should choose one brand over the other.
Let’s have a look how communication helps in building and sustaining brand attachment:
Brings out invisible factors of a brand: Communication packages the brand story and makes it more compelling and persuasive by bringing out invisible factors, which sometimes act as source of differentiation and emotional connect. For example, before the release of the movie Dangal, Aamir Khan’s Fat to Fit video that showcases his body transformation from a 97 kg man to a fit man with six packs was released. This video displayed his dedication and commitment with inspiring background music. Aamir’s body transformation was an invisible factor that was not shown in the movie, but by packaging and communicating this background story, the Dangal team was able to create human connections with the viewers. In a nutshell, communication builds connections and connections lead to commerce.
Plays a role of sales person on package: In a cluttered market place, we notice the brands with attractive packages and communication on these packages facilitates sales. Packages communicate details such as brand name, company name, nutrition value, ingredients, price, quantity, date of manufacture and expiry, authority approvals such as ISI mark, etc. This information helps customers in making faster buying decisions. For example, on Paper Boat drinks package, graphics communicate the purity and simplicity of the drinks, colours contribute to the delightful nostalgia and brief childhood memories bring in happiness. Along with the drinks, its packaging has also created a lot of word of mouth about the brand.
Establishes emotional connect through storytelling: Stories play a very important role in communication. They act as shortcuts to many complex concepts and have power to popularize ideas. They create interest and generate emotions. For example, Google’s Reunion advertisement communicates the story of reunion between two elderly men, Baldev from India and Yusuf from Pakistan. They were separated as children during the partition of India. In this story, Baldev’s granddaughter uses details of Baldev’s story and with the help of Google, she traces Yusuf and plans a surprise visit from Yusuf on Baldev’s birthday. This advertisement not only establishes emotional connect, but also puts Google’s power in perspective.
Helps to build rapport with stakeholders: Brand experience starts internally first and then externally. Internal communication can help in making employees knowledgeable and happy. These employees can improve customer experience leading to the development of trust and brand equity. For example, Su-Kam keeps its employees up to date through various training and development programs. The company also organizes various initiatives to increase bond between its employees. Like employees, to keep partners aligned with the company’s vision, the company regularly organizes channel partner meets in which it educates channel partners about new products and answers their queries. The company has also created many product videos that help employees and channel partners in having consistent communication with customers.
Establishes a brand as an industry expert: Thought leadership content in form of articles, videos, talks, etc. helps companies to communicate regularly with their customers and prospects on important issues. When a brand consistently communicates on relevant topics and helps audience in enhancing their knowledge, its position is elevated in the minds of audience. For example, companies like McKinsey and BCG regularly build pipeline of ideas, invest in their own platforms like McKinsey Quarterly and BCG Perspectives, encourage their partners and consultants to publish content through these platforms. Because this useful content allows these brands to remain in touch with their target audience, these brands become an enduring part of their life.
Helps a brand to stand out: Breaking the clutter of crowded brand messages is challenging. Engaging communication can help brands to tap into people’s emotions and persuade them to act. For example, iconic advertisements of Fevicol have played a very important role in creating unparalleled recall value for the brand. Every advertisement of Fevicol focuses on culture of India, showcases product strength, grabs people attention and brings smile through its humorous approach. This example shows that by using best possible words and expressions, a brand can establish a unique image in consumers’ mind.
Communication is not just about talking, it is also about listening. To build an authentic relationship with their stakeholders, it is also important for brands to listen to the desires of stakeholders and adapt communication accordingly. For example, to help increase the company’s focus on the customers and what they want, Starbucks launched My Starbucks Idea. This initiative helps the brand in engaging with customers by collecting, selecting and implementing their ideas. Customers feel valued, appreciated and respected, and their attachment with the brand increases. In sum, the art of communication can build and sustain brand attachment and eventually impact the bottom line.